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Chandanwari-Panjtarni track yet to be repaired for Amarnath yatra

JAMMU:   Rescue teams, police, security personnel are taking position along the routes of Amarnath yatra, yet the Chandanwari-Panjtarni track is yet to be repaired for a smooth pilgrimage to the cave shrine at high altitude.

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Amarnath Yatra 2015 commences on July 2, concludes on Aug 29

  Amarnath Cave is a cave temple to Lord Shiva in Jammu and Kashmir, the northern-most State bordering Pakistan and China. J&K is composed of three regions, viz., Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, located northwards in that order. Kargil, now wellknown for the war with Pakistan a few years ago, falls in Ladakh, mostly inhabited by Buddhists. Kashmir has Muslim majority and Jammu, down south, touching the mainland, has majority Hindus. Amarnath is 140 km away from State Capital Srinagar, in Anantnag district of Kashmir. It is at an altitude of 13,000 ft. The Amarnath yatra usually begins in June every year and is seasonal. This year it is scheduled to commence on...

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July 5, 2015
Mysterious deaths and heat stress index
Why are there mysterious deaths? There have been many cases like those of a Delhi TV news reporter Akshay Singh who travelled through the hot, humid central India probably ill-equipped, on assignment, and of a college dean, Arun Sharma, who came to Delhi all the way from Jabalpur. In both cases nothing was found 'abnormal'. Most of us are not aware that boiling heat is a bigger killer than scorching summer heat, probably in combination with other deadly risk factors which could as well be the immediate triggers (see below). When the mercury reads 40 deg C with a humidity of 65%, assuming, the cumulative heat alone can be a fatal 61 deg C. Read the heat index...
     NEW DELHI: Heat stroke happens suddenly and there is no time enough to seek treatment. You collapse. Therefore there is a need to educate people, especially workers, employers, athletes and children, about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of the condition. There are places in India where the summer temperature touches 50 deg C (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

But it has been found that the boiling heat of a sultry summer, for example in the initial stages of the onset of the monsoon in India, rather than the scorching heat of a peaking summer, contributes to an increased incidence of heat stress and death, unlike what people generally believe.

Especially it should be ensured that the employers adhere to the basic minimum requirements as regards the environmental conditions of work, providing facilities as demanded by the work stress in tropical climes. Proper ventilation for indoor work, mid-day break, timely right and light food, avoiding tea, coffee, cola drinks and sodium solutions, avoiding hard work during high heat, keeping hydration levels and frequent breaks in work, providing first aid etc need to be looked into.

The laxity on the part of employers due to various reasons is also an alarming signal in developing countries where the economic and attitudinal weaknesses of workers are exploited to their advantage.

The sad deaths of a Delhi TV reporter, Akshay Singh, who travelled through the hot, humid central India probably ill-equipped, on assignment regarding a Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam, also known as Vyapam scam, and of a college dean, Arun Sharma, who came to Delhi all the way from Jabalpur are indicators. No foul play was found in the initial investigations. Although it provided ammunition to underdeveloped Indian politicians to seize the opportunity to target their rival parties.

The first symptoms of heat stress are exhaustion, headache, heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, vomiting, confusion, fainting, etc. The patient should be taken to a cool area, fanned and wrapped with wet cloth, and water and electrolytes given immediately, and then moved to the clinic. Obesity, high blood pressure, dehydration and alcohol consumption are usually ignored risk factors that in combination may work as immediate causes for triggering the stress.

An International Labour Organisation (ILO) study says heat stress occurs when a person’s environment constituted of air temperature, radiant temperature, humidity and air velocity, clothing and activity and work interact to produce a tendency for body temperature to rise (Note here, that a high physical temperature is not the single contributing factor). The human thermoregulatory system responds by perspiration, which consequently induces a fatal strain on the body, leading to the symptoms.

Several indices have been developed to gauge heat stress proneness like Wet Globe Temperature (WGT) index certified by the ILO and incorporated in its encyclopaedia of occupational health and safety heat stress indices. A series of Kestrel pocket airflow trackers are also in use in various parts of the world. These instruments calibrate heat stress of a time and place through a heat stress index.

According to the ILO calculations, a heat stress index is a single number which integrates the effects of some six basic parameters in any human thermal environment. Others have a two-layer graphic system showing humidity and the physical temperature and then calculating the tolerance level in digits. The likely thermal strain on the body is indicated with a graded warning reaching up to the point when that strain is likely to become unacceptable.

The heat stress index has been defined as the relation of the amount of perspiration required as related to the maximum ability of the average person to perspire.

So scientists are asking us not just to depend on our thermometer but also consider the relative humidity to determine the safety levels of an environment. However, taking precautions will be more useful than having to carry a portable meter to measure stress while you are outdoors.

A simple heat index (HI) combines air temperature and relative humidity and determines the human-perceived equivalent temperature or how hot it feels to the person. It is also called the 'felt air temperature.' For example, even without taking into account the risk factors, if the temperature is a tolerable 40 deg C with a humidity of, assuming, 65%, the heat index or the cumulative heat can be about 61 deg C at which you won't exist.

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TRAVEL NEWS
Amarnath yatra makes progress without incidents
     Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir):  The Amarnath yatra has made steady progress to the cave shrine as 18,321 yatris have had the darshan of the ice lingam till Friday evening, the second day of the year's pilgrimage.
Toll in Darjeeling landslides mounts to 38
     DARJEELING:  Landslides caused by heavy rain in the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling district since Tuesday has claimed 38 lives; rescue and reconstruction work is going on.
AI's Dreamliner grounded in Paris: Wings' spoilers go dead, narrow escape for passengers
18 killed as Nepal plane crashes near Pokhara
Gulmarg calls for Alpine skiing, cheap and best!
TOP HEADLINES
Voted by Rajya Sabha, Telangana Bill goes to President for final approval
     New Delhi: The anti-Telangana MPs disrupted the Prime Minister's speech and shredded copies of the Bill, throwing them at him. However, the Bill was passed with the support of the BJP. There are special schemes for backward Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra in the six-point development package proposed by the Prime Minister. There will also be a special category status for Seemandhra for 5 years. The Bill was earlier passed by the Lower House on Tuesday amidst uproar.
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Supreme Court now restrains Tamil Nadu, stays release of Rajiv Gandhi's killers
     New Delhi: Chief Minister Jayalalitha had announced in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday that those convicted and sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case will be freed in view of the Supreme Court order of Tuesday commuting their sentence.
Dial 1093: Police Helpline for northeasterners in Delhi
     New Delhi: Following the killing of an Arunachal Pradesh student in a Delhi market and other such incidents, the Delhi police has set up a helpline for northeasterners to register their complaints and a special cell to deal with their grievances.
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Travel Destinations

RAJASTHAN
Jaipur, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Ajmer, Pushkar, Bharatpur, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore, Sariska
SIKKIM
Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir, Khangchendzonga
(Best time: March-May)
KERALA
Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam, Kumarakom, Sabarimala, Thekkady, Munnar, Kochi(Cochin), Muziris
KASHMIR
Vaishno Devi temple, Dal lake, Shalimar Gardens, Hazratbal, Sankaracharya temple, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Indus river, Amarnath temple
DELHI
Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Asoka pillar, Humayun's tomb, India Gate, Qutab Minar
HIMACHAL
Shimla, Kangra, Jwalamukhi, Dharamshala, Kullu, Manali, Rohtang Pass


PUDUCHERRY (PONDICHERRY)
Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach, Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Church of the Capuchins, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Thirukaameeswarar Temple (Periya Koil), Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, French War Memorial, Romain Rolland Library, Governor's Palace, Bharati Park (Government Park), Light House, Chunnambar Beach, Backwater Resort
KARNATAKA
Bangalore (Bengaluru), Whitefield, Mysore, Cauvery, Bagalkot, Halebeedu, Mangalore


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